Sunday, April 5, 2015

It's supposed to be who???

"I want to put a bag over her head.  That would be a quick fix," stated Richard Kogut.
Take just a few moments and examine the sculpture............ take in the "artistry" of it and try to guess who it is supposed to be..............

The piece was privately commissioned Jetta and Mark Wilson and has stood overlooking Chautauqua Lake in Celoron NY since 2009 when they donated it to the town.  It is a tiny town of about 1,000 residents and it is also the town where this woman spent much of her youth.  If you are still stumped, I will give you another shot at it, just to be fair.

The 400 pound lifesize bronze statue had been created by David Poulin who had his first encounter with bronze sculpture in 1978 while studying at Bethany College KS.  He completed a MFA in Sculpture at Alfred University and then spent eight years teaching at St Bonaventure University.

He left teaching in 1997 to pursue his art and has since produced over 120 pieces, many of which have been placed publically in New York and Pennsylvania.  He has so far declined to comment about the feelings the public has had for years about this particular sculpture.  The Wilson's, village trustees, the mayor and many town residents have stated that they do not like it.  His only statement has been that if nobody likes it, then take it down and put it in storage.

Enough hints or tired of guessing yet?

Jetta Wilson, whose office overlooks the park that the statue was placed in, had wanted to honor Lucille Ball and have a statue of her placed in the park that is named for her.  That's correct........... the statue is supposed to look like childhood resident, Lucille Ball.  The sculpture was part of a complicated real estate deal that he had made with the Wilson's and it took much longer to be delivered than they had expected.  When it arrived, the details of it down the buttons and label on the bottle were wonderful but the head.......... well the head is a major problem.

Mayor Scott Schrecengost has tried repeatedly to have Poulin repair the face at no cost to the town and he has so far refused to do so.  I agree with the mayor's statement that since he is the artist and knows that it is sub par, he should take some pride in it and want to fix it.  He estimates that it would take between $8,000 and $10,000 of taxpayers funding to replace just the head with a more lifelike version of it and he does not believe that the taxpayers should pay to fix it.

The interest has been renewed recently when an anonymous Facebook page was set up for comments and to discuss the solutions to fix the sculpture.  Many on the page agree that the face is scary and have even gone so far as to suggest that it could be an extra for the Walking Dead program.

Many in town do not like the sculpture but do not wish to publically state that saying that they want to stay in business.  that is a fair statement after the recent events that have unfolded for Memories Pizza in Indiana.  The hope is that maybe this recent discussion of how awful the statue looks will entice people to donate towards a permanent fix of it.  Village trustee Richard Kogut has gone so far as putting temporary putty in it's eyes and mouth in an attempt to make it less scary looking but that did not really help much.

Frankly......... the face on this is so bad that Poulin should be embarrassed and want to fix it, since it is a reflection of his abilities, or lack of.

Update April 7 2015:

David Poulin has sent a letter to the Hollywood Reporter in which he has apologized for the Scary Lucy statue that he created.  He states that it is by far the most unsettling sculpture he has created and it was a disappointment when it was completed.  He added that it should never have been cast, put on public display and he is taking complete ownership of the poor decision to do so.

Poulin has stated that he will go to Celoron NY and offer to remove and replace that statue with a new and charming Lucy at no cost to the town.  He added that he is heartsick over the outpouring of comments about the statue and while he does not consider himself a great artist, he does have many who enjoy his work.  He does still attempt to lay the blame on the town for not removing the statue when they were initially displeased with it.  To me, that is not a solution nor would it have fixed the fact that the work was commissioned, he took payment and admittedly knew it was crummy.  It would have been far better to offer to refuse the commission payment if they did not like it and allow them to decide if they wanted to continue with placing it in public before unveiling it.

The offer to replace the Scary Lucy statue is very good but it comes several years and many poor reviews too late.  Hopefully though, he will get it correct this time......

Complete copy of the letter:

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